Saturday, June 24, 2006

Say Something Spontaneous

Presentations, on-spot commenting, public speaking are not my strengths. Ask me to say something spontaneously to someone for recording, I'd say something stupid. Like when Grace was recording a tape for our cousin before they migrated to Canada many years ago, I was asked to say something to him. And what did I say? "Black" (?!) Why? Because I saw the shadow of the bookcase and thought of the colour when Grace asked me to say anything that came into mind.

Time and time again, I do this and embarrass myself. Dooce was talking about this too and I can relate to her hating the sound of our own voice being played back, wincing each time we hear our blubbered sentences because we become so strung up with self-consciousness.

It happened again yesterday as we had a farewell get together for one of our pastors. My friend who was videoing the whole event stopped me on the way out to "say something spontaneous that comes to mind". Of course, only 3 hours later, I only know what I should have said instead. Dang.

The reason why this topic also is because I'm supposed to be preparing for my sermon for my mission trip. Yeah, we're all supposed to be prepare a sermon. While it comes naturally for some (some bosses come to mind), my style is always say the least things possible, which successfully leaves the listeners totally confused. Perhaps you can find that in my writing at times too. Of course, writing allows you the luxury to re-read, repent and rewrite. And hope no one has read it before you edited it...

Books Again

I've borrowed my first Terry Pratchett book, Going Postal. Reading the first few pages, I already like it, it's so funny! The bookshop has a few of his books which I will certainly borrow. Any recommendations what title next?

As for Agatha Christie, I'm sad to say I didn't fully enjoy it as there was too much French which broke the flow as I couldn't understand some phrases. Somehow the plot at the end of the book wasn't as intriguing as Perry Mason. I would give her another shot though, and lower my expectations.

The Best Malaysian Fruit

If the Garden of Eden were located in Malaysia and Eve were Malaysian, then THIS would most certainly be the fruit that was made to tempt her.

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I love this local fruit. It's usually the case of either you'll love it or hate it. It brings people together and you don't have to share saliva as in the case of spooning out half a watermelon with 10 others. At night, people will squat on the roadsides huddled in groups while polishing off the pale yellow flesh from its seed.

Only problem is, it's a "heaty" fruit. Eating two pieces has already caused a sore throat. The remedy? To drink from it's shell. Apparently there is an "antidote" in the sap on the inside of the shell. It can even get rid of the durian smell from your fingers. Don't ask me the science behind it though.

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My record was eating 5 fruits, all slightly smaller than this one. This was after lunch one day in Melaka and the reason why I stopped was because 1. I was afraid I would get sick; 2. my pores started to emanate the durian smell, and; 3. my pee also started to smell like durian.

Fond memories of durian include younger days when my dad would sneak out of the house at night and bring back a couple of fruits. Even though I would be in my room, the smell would waft upstairs and draw me out. I would quietly tiptoe to the stairs and observe my dad slowly devouring each piece in total contentment, all by himself. Of course, once I make my presence known, he would, sometimes, invite me to share. Other times, I wouldn't wait to be asked!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I work with two different companies for my product. Both are pretty big players in the local market and if I say their name, those in Malaysia would know who they were. Both are agressive and demanding in their own ways.

But recently the big difference between the top bosses of these two companies came to light. We are holding a movie premiere screening soon and have allocated some seats for both partners. Company A has been with us for some time now and knows we will give them tickets while Company B is a newbie. Company A has requested a considerable number of seats to be given to them and when I could only fulfil a portion of it, they started complaining why they got so little when in fact, of all the partners, they have been given the most number of tickets.

The reason why they want so many is so that the big boss can bring his wife, kids and his kids' maid. This happened last year and the person who always liaises with us had to give up her seat for the maid, never mind all her hard work put in throughout the year on this partnership. She says it doesn't bother her but it does reflect what kind of a boss this guy is.

On the other hand, Company B gets 40 free tickets on a monthly basis as they advertise with the cinema and how this is distributed is that the big boss will tell his secretary to hold all the tickets each month and give to whoever wants it for that month. As for himself, he doesn't want any for himself and feels the staff should go enjoy themselves. It is, after all, only a movie ticket and if it makes his staff happy, why not.

But the sneers and off-handed comments made by Company A pissed me off. "You should have made our lives easier by giving us all the tickets seated together". My own bosses, the organisers, have a separate hall for the big guys whom they want to entertain and by giving them this privilege, they are complaining. It's bloody free tickets to a blockbuster and if you don't like where we sit you, go buy your own tickets and watch on normal days!

And I was so hankering in wanting to work in Company A when I first graduated. Phew!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Joy Is...

...waking up to the aroma of freshly baked bread.

My mum-in-law got us a bread maker. Prior to this, I've tasted home-made bread from a bread maker and it didn't taste like something I'd like to have. The bread I tasted was tough and it was full of good stuff like wholemeal flour, some kind of nuts and oats.

So at first I was apprehensive in receiving something I wouldn't be making full use of but after Mum-in-law showed how easy it was, I was willing to give it a try, even if the first one we tried failed.

Sunday night I put all the ingredients as carefully as I could, in a matter of less than 10 mins and set it on the timer. The aroma is really something. Tonight is round 2.

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Once I get a hang of this, I'll venture into more varients. has quite a fair number of bread machine recipes although once I minus out oats, raisins or any other too healthy ingredients, I will be left with little choice.

But do you know how difficult it is to get bread flour here? I probably need to visit a specialty baking shop and get like 5 kgs of bread flour.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Cockroach Mating Season

That's the only conclusion I can come up with for finding 10 cockroaches in the kitchen and upstairs guest bathroom in 3 days. The first two had found me by surprise as I was quietly sitting down in the hall, sorting through some old clothes when one came running towards me. I screamed the whole neighbourhood down at nearly midnight and threw some clothes at it. Yeah right, it continued running as though the baju didn't even touch it.

And because I was sitting crossed legged, I used my left hand to lift my body up but then thought the roach would climb up my hand. So in panic, I was doing a sort of half push up while screaming. It had a mate that was flying all around too.

Every day is like a war and I send my beloved male to the battlefield (aka the kitchen), armed with spray and a bottle of dishwasher liquid.

When we got to Melaka, I thought there would be peace. But NO! I still had to encounter one that was running about in our room. Of course, my shriek deployed KS and his Mum to my rescue.

So that makes it 11 roaches in 4 days. Oh, why can't we live in NZ where the roaches don't fly?

The Ball is Round

Everyone is talking balls right now. So far I've only watched half the match of England vs I-can't-remember-which-country. And because there were no goals, I was absorbed in my book until KS shouted out the goals. Luckily they have playbacks.

But it's strange to hear how people "celebrate" this sport around the globe. Here, people are wearing lanyards with BRAZIL, ITALY and what have you, and clipping on their staff ID tags with them.

If you live in an apartment/condo, your sleep would most certainly be interrupted with screams of "GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!" until 5am. Yup, that happened in college.

Mamaks are a crowded time of the season, with many owners throwing up big screens and projecting the games on the large canvasses to attract customers. Patrons will be dressed in their football jerserys and will be sitting there for a good 90 mins. I've always wondered how these mamaks make money out of someone sitting there just drinking one glass of teh tarik for more than an hour. Was just told that apparently, when a goal is scored, the supporter gets so excited that he will accidentally fling the contents of his glass.

I'm glad to say I will not be visiting mamaks at this juncture and be drenched by flying teh tariks.

But flying of flags and honking as in Canada? That hasn't reached here yet.


KS and I took leave on Friday to go back to Melaka for Father's Day. His Dad was a little surprised that we took the trouble to come back as we have my cousin's wedding to attend this Sunday. But it felt like ages since we last went back and we missed Mother's Day with them, hence our trip.

On Thursday, I was filled with excitement and anticipation of our getaway weekend. Melaka has always been the holiday place right back when I was growing up. Excitement simmered amongst my siblings as we approached my cousins' house. We would cook up stories on how we arrived there, Grace once getting Dad to drop her 500m from the house so that she would walk and pant and tell the rest she walked all the way from KL.

After all our relatives left Melaka, going back there was never the same. Until it hit me this weekend that yes, I still look forward to going back to Melaka now. Just something about that place that makes it feel like... home. Ok, ok, I admit. My in-laws are quite the most relaxed people I've ever known and hence, I feel very relaxed around them.

Anyways, they've beautified the sidewalks of Melaka River and it looks really great a night with alfresco dining (although I must say the smell is still something to be desired for), brick walls and soft lamps that makes one think they're in an ang moh country minus the cold weather. Although it doesn't scream Melaka anymore, it is an improvement from what it was previously, with houses having their outhouse hovering over the waters while river cruise ships putter by. Drop by next time you're there.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Night Sight-Seeing

Met up with my uni mates last Thurs and had Lebanese food in KLCC. Most of us couldn't adjust to the taste of the cuisine but surprisingly, KS enjoyed my dish, of which he ate 75%. The rest of us swear never to go back there again. Sorry, I can't describe it, it's just... weird.

We then proceeded to show our guest (a uni mate who hasn't been back to Malaysia in 10 years) the Twin Towers. This is a rare treat that we take a look at the Twin Towers in the night, with it's breathtaking lights. The sky was clear with a half moon and the view was really magnificent. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera so no photos to share but if you have the chance to take a look at it at night, it's one of the better sights of KL.

There's also some water fountain in the viewing area which my friends posed for something obscene that had a bunch of Japanese tourists guffawing as they saw the pose. Need to get the photo from Z and maybe will post it up here with their permission!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Keeping Me Busy

I recently discovered a little bookshop tucked in Central Market that rents books for a couple of bucks. It has quite a few Agatha Christie so I'm taking the plunge and going to start reading them. The reason why I never read any of hers although I love that genre is that she has 80 over books. And once I read and like one of them, I'll probably want to read all of them.

Most of the books are romance but you can find some popular ones too. So that has what been keeping me busy the entire week.

Yes, I'm lovin' my workplace location more and more.

Monday, June 05, 2006


X-Men III is good... I want to be Jean Grey/Phoenix... If you're going to watch it in cinemas, wait until after the credits. Got continuation.

And all the while I kept thinking about my friend H who wanted superpowers to turn himself into a traffic light.


Our blocked pipe has been fixed! Somewhat. KS got the plumber to come in on Sat morning and they tried unclogging it for 4 hours. It took 4 of them to do it but in the end, they could only do so much and warned us not to wash plate in our kitchen sink. Yeah right. Everytime I have a meal, I must go outside and use the garden hose to wash my plates?

Anyways, the pipe is so far okay. The thing is, one of the guys, an Indonesian, got into the sewage tank and was peering into the pipes. There were cockroaches running all around and one even crawled on him. He merely concentrated on his task until it crawled up his shoulder near his neck and he brushed it off non-cholantly.

Their service was worth every sen. Someone commented we paid too much for them but I'd rather pay them hundreds than to have cockroaches running all over me!

Wee Adventure

Last Friday KS and I had a great game of Ping Pong with some friends. During the game, I had a couple of phone calls so I took my phone out.

Only upon reaching home and about to fall asleep at 2am, I reached out in the darkness to switch off my handphone... and I couldn't find it! KS rang it and I didn't hear it ring anywhere in the room, neither did it ring in the car when I went to check.

So what happened? I drove with KS all the way back to our friend's place in PJ and found my phone (thank God!) and reached home at 3:15am. Yes, I know my phone is a Nokia 3210 which is obsolete and no one would want to steal it. But all my phone numbers are in there and someone might just want it for a toy for their kids.

That kind of spoilt my whole weekend as it turned my sleeping schedule upside down. But I'm just glad that I have my phone back again. Now I need to backup my sim card.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Being Anal About Toilet Paper

I've been observing this for some time now but I've come to the conclusion that my toilet paper habits are a little anal than the rest.

A common habit which I have is that a fresh roll MUST be fitted into the holder with the paper being drawn from the top. And sometimes when the perforated lines of a 2-ply don't meet, that's because the top layer is actually supposed to be the bottom layer, hence you need to remove the top layer by going around the roll until it meets the other layer in perfect perforated symmetry. I can't stand it when the lines don't meet and I have to adjust both layers so that it fits to become one.

Now, the less common habit is that every time I use it, the toilet paper must be the length of 3 squares (according to Cutie Compact Tissue sizes) and that I will fold it twice before using it. The average times it is used is 2 folds thereafter. I can be creative and make it go for more but I won't go further into details.

How I observe this is because here in Malaysia, we tend to get unflushed public toilets and I get to see a lot of balled up toilet paper in the bowl. After I've used mine, it distinctly sits in the bowl, neatly folded. I have yet to come across another neatly folded one like mine.